How to make chili more nutrient dense

Chili is a nutrient dense meal already with ingredients like tomatoes (great source of potassium), beans (great source of potassium, calcium, and folate), and beef (great source of protein, zinc, iron, and potassium), but there are a few ways you can add even more minerals to this recipe. I like to add cacao powder (for magnesium), butternut squash (for more potassium and beneficial fibers), and liver (nature’s multivitamin).

I’m not a huge liver lover. I didn’t grow up eating it, so the flavor is VERY strong to me. I like to soak it in milk for at least an hour then saute in butter and puree it. I then freeze it into 4oz servings that I can add to recipes like this. It really cuts down on the prep time. I also made the beans a couple days before. I like to soak my beans and pressure cook, so they are easier to digest. I also do this in bulk and freeze leftover beans for future recipes. Check out my previous post for more on this!

-1/2 a chopped onion
-4 cloves garlic, chopped
-2-3lb ground beef
-4-8oz liver (that has been cooked and pureed if you want something that mixes in easily–I always make a bunch at once and freeze it into 4oz servings)
-Two 24oz cans of diced tomatoes
-One 6oz can of tomato paste
-4 tbsp chili powder
-1-2 tbsp cumin (if using 3lb of meat, I would do 2)
-2 tsp smoked paprika
-1 tsp sea salt
-2 tbsp cacao powder
-3-4 cups cooked black beans (see previous reel for how to properly prepare beans)
-3-4 cups butternut squash, cubed (can be fresh or frozen)

Check out the video instructions!

*Side note: you could definitely add a little spice to this recipe if you want. Normally, we add adobo and chili peppers, but we wanted our daughter to be able to eat this too. It’s delicious with some spice though!

This recipe used what I had on hand, but if you want to give it an even bigger boost, you could add a leafy green like collard greens or Swiss chard for a big boost of calcium and potassium. You would mix them in with the beans and squash.

Want to learn how to build a nutrient-dense diet? Check out my podcast episodes Nourishing Nutrition Foundation and how to eat to support your hormones.

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Amanda Montalvo

Amanda Montalvo is a women's health dietitian who helps women find the root cause of hormone imbalances and regain healthy menstrual cycles.

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